How Gaming has Evolved and Adapted in the Mobile Age


To some of the young gamers of today, it may seem at first glance as though gaming is a new pursuit. However, from decks of cards and board games to arcade machines and Sega consoles, gaming has been a popular activity for decades – if not centuries. The one thing that has changed, though, is the formats and access methods that gamers now use.

Mobile gaming, which is at least a $50bn market, is the most obvious example of this sea change. The mobile world has forced the gaming industry to change course: the proliferation of mobile technology means that all genres need to be catered for, and a world in which many people have a high-definition screen in their hand has led to significant graphics changes too. This article will explore these themes and more.

More choice for gamers

The size of the US mobile market is huge: it’s estimated that 230 million or so Americans have access to a smartphone. Mobile phones are used for a variety of purposes, but one of the main ones is entertainment during downtime periods. For games developers, this represents an enormous opportunity to cater to a large and engaged market who want to spend their idle time doing something fun. However, on the flip side, this market is almost too large for many gaming firms – as it requires games developers to work to cater to all needs.

The real winner here is the consumer, as it’s now possible to find a game that meets your requirements exactly and download it either for free or very cheaply. If you’re interested in word games, for example, then a bustling and competitive marketplace means that Scrabble, Words With Friends, Boggle and more are all available on your phone. Online gambling on the go is also a possibility now: NJ online casino games, including sports betting, are ever-popular. In past eras when no one device type penetrated the market as deeply as mobile has, this sort of game choice and vibrancy was far from easy to find.

Better graphics and visuals

Each iteration of screen quality has inevitably led to a change in the gaming market – and the arrival of mobile is no exception. When video games first came out, they were restricted in the amount of screen quality they could offer – and they often had to stick to what are now old-fashioned limits, such as two dimensions and geometric shapes. However, with high-end mobile screens designed for viewing now available, there’s no way that a modern games developer could get away with such low quality.

Gamers who play on mobile are now treated to top graphics, as their screens have often been optimized by the device manufacturer for high screen engagement time and video watching. Some of the latest mobile phones have truly stunning graphics capabilities, including 4K HDR. While it’s true to say that a computer with a powerful graphics card and a larger screen may offer a more sophisticated visual experience than a mobile phone ever could, games developers are clearly now planning for most users to be enjoying high-end visuals on their phones.

Business models

At a more commercial level, the gaming industry has also had to adapt to the new business models required in the mobile age. Games developers who want to reach mobile consumers usually have to get their apps listed on one of the main app stores, either the iOS store or the Google Play store. However, the operators of these institutions are powerful and can remove games easily, destroying a commercial project in the process.

There have always been middlemen involved in gaming, of course – and the existence of video games stores is evidence enough of that – but the difference with mobile gaming is that there are now highly specific rules required in order to get into the duopoly, and that a bustling market for games purchases no longer truly exists. For a consumer, the main downside here is small – and it is that a favorite game may be snatched away. However, for a firm, the risks are much bigger.

The world of gaming is ever-changing, and the impact of mobile phones is just one way that this has occurred. Phones offer a wide range of choice for gamers, and everything from taxing brainteasers to gambling is now available on your device. With graphics improvements and new business models also in the mix, it’s easy to see that gaming is a world that has undergone significant change thanks to the mobile revolution.

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